Our Big Kitchen | Baking cookies for the homeless

Written by | Nechama Basserabie

One of the most beautiful things about working with children is the simplicity and joy with which they offer their help.

Sometimes, as adults, we may feel that helping others is complicated by a lifetime of
experience and ‘learning lessons’. Children’s acts of charity and compassion, on the other hand, often reach a level of purity that is difficult to re-learn as we grow older.

This was certainly the case with the beautiful little people that baked cookies at the Our Big Kitchen – Christmas Cookies For The Homeless workshop organised by Live Love Learn at Our Big Kitchen in December 2012.

Before the workshop began, Tracey explained to the children the reason for baking. It was our hope that, in the same way that cookie baking brings light and laughter to the children, that our ginger cookie baking might inject joy and hope into Christmas for Sydney’s
less fortunate.

Many little hands make light work in Our Big Kitchen
The kids donning their aprons and hairnets provided the majority of the day’s entertainment.
Standing at stools along a big communal table, each child received a ball of dough and a rolling pin and they scrambled for cookie cutters. Little hands made dough flowers, stars, maps of Australia, sharks and butterflies…and some dough was never to be seen again.

Mery Chrismes, Hapy Holidays and Dear daddy. I love you.

It’s a mission to collect trays full of cookies and load them into ovens as little hands churn out cookie after cookie. As the scent of ginger overwhelmed Our Big Kitchen, the kids illustrated cards to attach to individual cookie bags, and composed personal messages such as Mery Chrismes and Hapy Holidays. One card read, Dear daddy. I love you. Oops.

Once mound after mound of cookies were baked, Our Big Kitchen emptied out and the mammoth task of packing was left to a dedicated few who quickly formed a production line.

Rainbows, trees, flowers…

The end result was a crate brimming with packets of delicious ginger cookies, each bearing a card adorned with images that always pour forth from a child’s imagination: rainbows, trees, flowers, suns….

An uplifting experience
Cookie baking with the kids at Our Big Kitchen was an uplifting experience. Their unflagging brightness and readiness was inspirational.

Live Love Learn…

If I may borrow from the name of the program itself:

LIVE: the kids learnt what it meant to live in a society in which our lives are linked with others and where we must perform acts such as this to enrich the lives of those less fortunate.

LOVE: the project was all about love, demonstrating compassion for others and baking with goodwill – and love – in the hope that it would be transmitted to those we baked for.

LEARN: Need I say more